Test squad to fly to Abu Dhabi
After spending the last 72 hours consulting security advisers and government agencies at the highest level, the England and Wales Cricket Board has determined that England will leave for Abu Dhabi tomorrow to resume their two-Test tour of India.
Yesterday Hugh Morris, managing director England Cricket, outlined to the England players that the tour would go ahead subject to security recommendations being implemented.
The England Test squad will therefore practice in Abu Dhabi along with nine members of the England Performance Squad and will fly on to India early next week for the two Test matches in Chennai and Mohali if the security recommendations have been implemented.
All the players have received reports from the ECB security team and also the recommendations that Reg Dickason, the team security adviser, has insisted the Board of Control for Cricket in India put in place.
While England are practising in Abu Dhabi, Hugh Morris and PCA chief executive Sean Morris will join Reg Dickason, who is currently in India, ensuring that all ECB security requirements have been fully and effectively implemented for both Test venues.
Then Hugh Morris and Sean Morris will fly from Chennai to Abu Dhabi to confirm to the ECB and the players that the added security recommendations are in place for the tour to begin.
Hugh Morris said: "The only consideration in all our discussions has been the safety and security of the team and support staff. We have been delighted by the input of the PCA and also the willingness of the BCCI to act upon our recommendations regarding security.
"While we have sought to reassure players that their safety is paramount, we have not pressurised any player into making the trip against their will. Those who leave for Abu Dhabi are all anticipating travelling to India if both Sean and I are happy that Reg Dickason's security plans have been activated. The board and players will be kept fully informed."
Sean Morris added: "The PCA and ECB have worked extremely closely on this issue and the players have been fully supportive throughout. We will access the highest calibre of security advice on a regular basis so that we can provide the players with the latest accurate information.
"I have been assured by the ECB that they would never compromise the players' safety and security. Hugh and I are travelling to India this weekend to confirm for the players that the security is of the high standard that the ECB and PCA demand."
Ryan Sidebottom, who was named in England’s original 15-man tour party, has been ruled out of the series with a side injury. Stuart Broad will miss the first Test having picked up a hamstring strain in Cuttack during the fifth one-day international. He will remain in England for intensive physiotherapy and then fly out to Chennai where his fitness will be reviewed ahead of the second Test.
The Test squad will be supplemented by nine players from the England Performance Programme Squad.
England Test squad
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire, captain)
Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire) – travelling directly to Chennai
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire)
Stephen Harmison (Durham)
Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire)
Matthew Prior (Sussex)
Owais Shah (Middlesex)
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Ravinder Bopara (Essex)
Mark Davies (Durham)
Robert Joseph (Kent)
Amjad Khan (Kent)
Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire)
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Oliver Rayner (Sussex)
Alan Richardson (Middlesex)